Since my marathon this past Sunday, I've been resting with only running some short and easy miles. On Wednesday I ran 2 miles. I had some knee discomfort during the race, which I'll discuss in my race report, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had some minor tightness and my legs did seem a little wobbly for a good part of the run, but all and all I was very pleased with how my legs were working.
On Thursday I ran 3 miles. My legs were a little wobbly for the first 1/2 mile and I still had some tightness in my left hip, but that worked itself out - it was a good run.
Today I started out on my planned 3 mile run keeping to the theme of "easy" and everything was going well until my turnaround point at 1.5 miles, which I'd done carefully. Well, I must have turned in such a way that it created enough strain on something in my right calf because shortly after that I noticed a tight pulling sensation. I automatically went into self diagnostic mode and quickly realized it was not just a passing discomfort. I stopped and stretched it out a bit, then tried to run a little more to test it out. It was still there, but so far it still seemed minor. I've enough experience now to know when to stop - running further at that point could have turned a minor injury into something more serious. I stretched it out some more and started my 1.5 mile walk back.
It was actually a very pleasant walk since it's a beautiful day today and comfortably warm. My calf felt OK and I wasn't limping. I think walking actually may have been beneficial at times and, at least in the beginning, I was not even aware of it. The distance, however, was probably further than what was good for it as my calf started to feel tight again with a little under a 1/2 mile to go. I stopped more frequently to stretch it out and kept my strides small to prevent aggravating my injury.
When I finally got back I stretched it out some more and rolled my calf over a rolling pin set up I have. I think I managed to avoid anything too serious. I expect that rest, stretching, and massaging will be all I need. I really won't be able to gauge how long I'll need to rest until at least tomorrow. Something else that experience has taught me is to make sure I take the time to heal fully after an injury. In the past I've rushed back running to soon and re-injure myself, resulting in even longer down time than had I just taken the time I needed in the first place.
My next training cycle starts on Oct. 24th, which is plenty of time to recover fully it this turns out to be more serious that it feels right now. Plus I'm very please that this didn't happen right before my marathon. My best guess is that my muscles were still tight and when I turned I just happened to extend it just enough. I probably should have had a more rigorous post-mary stretching routine. Learning is part of the journey :)